LifeSize videoconferencing to support Skype video

Company says it's looking to meet enterprise customer demand

Skype videoconferencing will soon be supported in the LifeSize Passport business-class videoconferencing system, LifeSize announced Tuesday.

Skype IP voice and videoconferencing are already widely used around the world, mainly by students and consumers. Today's announcement means that a room-based LifeSize Passport user will be able to interact in video and audio calls with Skype users globally. The software to support Skype in LifeSize Passport will be free and will be offered as a free update for existing Skype users globally later this month.

Passport users will show up in Skype like another Skype member, LifeSize officials said.

"With the 'consumerization of IT' whereby people are bringing Skype into the workplace, more enterprises are looking for synergistic solutions like this that include Skype," said David Gurle, general manager of Skype Enterprise, in a statement. "We're delighted that LIfeSize is helping [enterprises] address customer demand by delivering enterprise-class videoconferencing with Skype."

LifeSize Passport units, first introduced in 2009, offer high-definition video and start at less than $2,500. Initially, the Skype video will not be high definition, a LifeSize spokeswoman said.

Passport units serve small meeting rooms, teleworkers and individual offices, according to LifeSize, which is a division of Logitech.

Craig Malloy, CEO of LifeSize, said LifeSize is the first business-class videoconferencing provider to plug into Skype. LifeSize started working with Skype on the joint technology two years ago.

Logitech already offers a $100 B910 Webcam for HD video and stereo audio to use on a PC with Skype.

Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed. His e-mail address is mhamblen@computerworld.com.

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